Subject: Re: Time off in Australia

The trouble with working is that in gets in the way of traveling!

I employ 18 people in my company, &I truly believe in the benefits of refreshing oneself. My staff earns time off with a multiplier for each hour worked which increases with years with the company. For first-year folks, that's 13 paid days, and the scale goes up to 27 paid days after 10 years, altho the max at one vacation is 13 business days in a row. In addition, staff can elect time off without pay, again based on seniority, from 2 to 10 days yearly. There's also emergency family leave without pay. And every 5 years an employee can choose to take 4 weeks at one time, using a combination of paid time and unpaid time. It should come as no surprise that besides our new receptionist (5 months) and bookkeeper (8 months) the lowest-seniority staffer has been with me 5 years and most are 15 years +. In my business, average seniority is usually 2 years! I also believe that employees deserve the best I can do in protecting their health, so I pay full medical and dental insurance for all staff, full or part time.

I think this kind of paid holiday time is not that common in the US, more's the pity, certainly not among my competitors here in the Willamette Valley. Coming back to the workplace refreshed and renewed is better for employee and customer alike, but it just isn't our corporate culture to offer the opportunity, paid or unpaid. However, as long as it is economically feasible, it will be in this company's handbook!

Gail in Eugene